England Vs India, Match Preview
England Vs India: The five-Test match series between high-profile teams is about to get underway, but there hasn’t been as much hype as expected. The focus on the Hundred has taken away some attention from the contest, but the eyes can turn with some exciting Test Cricket offers in the coming days.
The Test marks the beginning of a new World Test Championship cycle. Both sides did a fair job in the previous process, with India making it to the finals. For both sides, the series is a chance at redemption. England toured India earlier this year and lost the four-Test series with a scoreline of 3-1. They now have an opportunity to take revenge as they look to kick off a year with ten high-profile Tests ahead of them.
For India, they last won a Test series in England back when Rahul Dravid was captain. He leads them to a win in 2007, and since then, India has had some rough score lines. The tour in 2018 was a closely fought one, but the tally was 4-1, which shows a different picture. It was undoubtedly a closely fought series, with Virat Kohli dominating, as he was the only player to score more than 500 runs.
India will also be keen to put the WTC Finals loss behind them. They fought well throughout the previous cycle and will hope to kick off the following process well.
England Vs India, Team News
Both sides have some selection issues to sort out. India has lost four members of their squad, with three out of the entire series. Without Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal, India is in search of another opener. They have KL Rahul in the squad, and he is the likely candidate for the top spot. Along with the opening issues, India has to sort out the bowling combination. In the WTC Finals, they played both spinners to strengthen their batting, but the tail still looked light. They now have to decide whether they play the same combination or go with an extra pacer.
The bowling combination will be formidable as India will find it tough to leave their spinners out. Ashwin has been in good form of late, and Jadeja has provided India with some priceless runs, making both players undroppable. However, the inclusion of Shardul Thakur will strengthen the batting and keep the pacers fresh, giving India some more options.
India may also look to include Siraj in place of one of the current pacers. Siraj has been in good touch, and Bumrah could make way as the pacer looked off-color in the WTC Finals. With a lot of issues to sort out, India is yet to name their eleven. In recent times, they have posted their eleven on the eve of the Test, but they will only release their side at the toss with the injuries on hand.
England has some injury issues to sort out as well. They are without some high-profile players. Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Chris Woakes are all out for a considerable time, while Ollie Pope is in doubt for the first Test. England has all-rounders in Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson, and both seem sure to play. They may go with four pacers and rotate Broad and Anderson as the series goes on. Jake Leach is also likely to find a spot, and his inclusion will give England five genuine bowling options.
England Vs India, Predicted XIs
India (possible): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
England (possible): 1 Rory Burns, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Zak Crawley, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ollie Pope, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Sam Curran, 8 Ollie Robinson, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Jack Leach, 11 James Anderson
England Vs India, Players to Watch out for
When India last toured England, Sam Curran made a massive impact on the series. He provided crucial runs in the lower-order and took the game away from India when all seemed lost. His bowling was pretty effective as well, and Sam Curran now comes back with some more experience. In the absence of Ben Stokes, Sam Curran has an opportunity to step up and show his qualities as an all-rounder. He has demonstrated some excellent skills across formats, and his impact on the 2018 series remains a big one.
Cheteshwar Pujara’s form has come into the spotlight as the dependable number three has gone century-less for a while. His last century came against Australia in 2019, Pujara has hit some beautiful half-centuries, but his consistency has gone away. His record in England isn’t excellent, and a poor series may threaten his place in the side. There were many calls to drop him after his failure in the WTC Finals, but he is likely to retain his position again. Nevertheless, the series is a big one for Pujara as he hopes to silence the critics. The series will also be a tough one for him as he is known to struggle against the moving ball.
England Vs India, Pitch Report
The weather has been cloudy, but there isn’t much rain on the radar. The surface is green but a little dry underneath. The color of the surface has changed in the last two days, but the grass is likely to stay on, facilitating some strong swing bowling.